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Neville Brothers <i>Walkin' in the Shadow of Life</i>


The Neville Brothers are considered one of the musical dynasties of New Orleans. For three decades, the family group has been presenting a soulful mixture of funk, blues and rock, along with the jazz, Cajun and Creole influences of their native city.

Brothers Art, Charles, Cyril and Aaron Neville started their separate careers in the 1950s, and officially united in 1977. The group is led by the famous voice of Aaron Neville, who has had his own solo hits, such as "Over You" and "Tell It Like It Is." Cyril and Art were members of influential funk combo, The Meters. The Brothers' close, four-part harmonies and funky beats attracted sell-out crowds at the legendary New Orleans club, Tipitina's. Moving beyond their cult following, they recorded with early supporters such as Carlos Santana, Linda Ronstadt, and members of the Grateful Dead and Rolling Stones. Over the years, The Nevilles have developed a reputation for their charismatic live shows, which often include extended jams and improvisation.

Their new album, <i>Walkin' In The Shadow of Life</i>, bridges old school soul and contemporary rhythm and blues. "Kingdom Come" was written by Cyril Neville and Bono of Irish rock band U2.

<i>Walkin' In The Shadow of Life</i> explores topics such as the turmoil and politics of the music business, drugs, street gangs, war and the state of the nation. The album title refers to elder brother Art, who commented while he was recovering from back surgery, "I feel like I've been walkin' in the shadow of life and not living it to the fullest." The group also drew inspiration from Aaron's poetry and journal entries. The album reflects their experiences growing up in a tough New Orleans neighborhood, surviving in the music business despite several setbacks, and overcoming their struggles with substance abuse.

The Neville Brothers have welcomed a new generation of musicians into their band. Aaron's son, Ivan, plays keyboards and his brother Jason adds a few raps, and Art's son Ian is featured on guitar.

The Neville Brothers have club, theater and concert hall dates booked through January. Critics agree that the group's best show is their traditional finale performance at the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.